|A Turkish delegation arrived in Baghdad on Thursday to meet with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, PM Nuri Al Maliki and Kurdish administration PM Nechirvan Barzani. The delegation's visit aims at boosting cooperation with Iraq, FM Babacan told reporters. (UPDATED)
The delegation, consisting of a senior Prime Ministry official Ahmet Davutoglu and Turkey's Special Representative to Iraq Murat Ozcelik, arrived in Baghdad on Thursday.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan told a news conference on Thursday that the Turkish delegation's visit to Baghdad aimed at boosting cooperation with Iraq.
"A new process has started between Turkey and the Iraqi central government, particularly after my visit to this country and the Iraqi president's visit to Turkey. The Turkish delegation will propose to establish a strategic dialogue mechanism between Turkey and Iraq. Turkish executives will discuss details of the mechanism with Maliki and Talabani," Babacan said.
Babacan also said the statements and actions of the local administration in northern Iraq towards the PKK will definitely have an impact on Turkey's current and future dialogue.
He added that Turkey was in contact with all groups in Iraq, and Turkey's target was stability, territorial integrity and the political unity of Iraq.
The delegation's visit to Iraq came two days after Turkey signaled a policy shift in its relations with the Kurdish administration in northern Iraq.
Meanwhile Turkish President Abdullah Gul met Iraqi Vice-President Tariq al-Hashimi in Ankara on Thursday. Territorial integrity and safety of Iraq were important for regional stability, Gul said after the meeting.
"Energy is an important dimension of these relations. Turkey takes part in projects in Iraq to explore and ship oil and natural gas. We want Turkey to be included in the new list of countries that would join oil exploration activities in Iraq," Gul added.
Gul said Turkey had already established dialogue with all groups active in Iraq.
Hashimi is also expected to meet Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday.